Westbourne School

Student wins international science prize

Posted: 9th December 2022

smiling student wearing glasses and a light blue jumper

International recognition

Congratulations to Westbourne alumnus, Anthony Phung, who is part of a multidisciplinary team that has won the top prize in the highly prestigious International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition.

Now in his second year at the University of Cambridge studying Natural Sciences, Anthony and a team of five other students from the Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society (CUSBS) claimed a gold medal in this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, known as iGEM.

This global competition in synthetic biology sees students from across the world use bioengineering toolkits to solve a real-life problem, ranging from therapeutics to manufacturing to climate crisis. This year marks the re-emergence of Cambridge at the competition after a long hiatus since 2016.

Explore the IB Diploma

A world-leading research career

Before beginning his studies at Cambridge, Anthony was a hugely talented student at Westbourne and competed in a host of UK-wide science olympiads whilst studying for the IB Diploma. He excelled in his studies, ultimately achieving an exceptional 45 Points in his IB and securing his undergraduate place at one of the world’s finest universities.

He has kept in close contact with the Westbourne community whilst at university. Since starting at Cambridge, he has even found the time to mentor current Westbourne students, helping with revision sessions, and coaching them for Olympiad competitions.

"Personally, I am very proud of this Gold Award! My summer has been amazing – I have learnt so much about the way of a synthetic biologist. One of my ultimate takeaways is: Don’t be a stereotypical scientist who spends all their life in the lab. Be a communicator, an entrepreneur, a world-changer. This award showcases the entirety of our journey – meticulous ideation, experimental design, lab work, and finally bringing that science into the real world." Anthony Phung
"Following my experience at iGEM, I was fortunate to receive lots of research opportunities for the upcoming years. I am happy to share that, in recognition of my achievement, I have been chosen to undertake an exchange programme at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Summer 2023, where I will take on other challenges in the field and develop myself further as a researcher." Anthony Phung
"Anthony was an outstanding student whilst studying the IB Diploma Programme with us at Westbourne, and we knew then that he was destined to make a significant impact in the field of science. As a sixth form student, coming to us from Vietnam, Anthony took part in Olympiads and academic competitions across the whole country, often receiving gold awards for both biology and chemistry. He worked closely with our teachers to finesse his longer-term ambitions, which ultimately took him to one of the best universities in the world. We are so proud of him." Ms Lisa Phillips, Head of Sixth Form
Categories: News